The phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ comes to mind when listening to Lizard Lounge, the new album from Barren Womb. It’s impossible to know what to expect from first impressions and appearances alone and it feels like Barren Womb go out of their way to subvert expectations for those unfamiliar with their work.
From the off, the name itself gives the impression that this is some sort of ‘grindcore’ project, however they actually describe themselves as hard rock, which does seem to ring true for the most part. However, it feels odd to try and whack a label on this group at all, as there appears to be a number of different influences at play here. For example, the track ‘Crop Circle Jerk’ (great title) has a bit of a ska vibe to it. It’s a very refreshing album, showcasing a group who clearly enjoys making the music they want to make whilst not concerning themselves with which box they fit into and, once you get over that, you’ll find yourself having a good time too.
The energy of Barren Womb is almost contagious- to use the word ‘whacky’ to describe them feels a little juvenile, yet at the same time it’s pretty appropriate. In a similar vein to System Of A Down, Barren Womb's lyrical content is somewhat off-the-wall and entertaining, as is evident from their zany track titles. Much like SOAD again though, this twisted sense of humour is not to be mistaken for the makings of a comedy album, with such serious topics covered in Lizard Lounge as drug abuse and addiction. In further contrast to the lyricism, the tracks are fierce and weighty, with the sweet and familiar fuzz of the overdrive emblematic of the hard rock genre helping to drive the album home for anyone looking for something along the lines of Royal Blood, Alice in Chains or perhaps a little Dinosaur Pile Up.
As mentioned, there’s a bit of something from across the whole rock spectrum here, making it all the more accessible to a much wider audience and so well worth your time to give it a shot. Barren Womb even makes time to relax a little with some slower numbers, such as the aforementioned ‘Crop Circle Jerk’ (yep, still a great tile) and penultimate track ‘Hydroponic Youth’, to give this album even more variety.
So, to summarise, if you’re looking for a reason to listen to this album, you’re looking too hard. Lizard Lounge is a good lesson in opening yourself up to new experiences in music, irrespective of first impressions based purely on appearance. Barren Womb demonstrates with this new record how there’s so much more to our music scene than the neat little boxes we tend to package things up in and is ready to reward those who are willing to look beyond – it’s a hard rock band called “Barren Womb”... sure, why not?
Give it a go, you just might enjoy yourself.